5 deadly mistakes Nigerians often make on the road

By Jane Osuagwu
Publish on July 22, 2019

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Being on the road for long doesn't automatically translate into a perfect driver, check in to see if you still make these mistakes which are very common with Nigerian drivers and even passengers.

Absolute concentration, that's what we need when we are driving a car or any big, wheeled vehicle. Unlike a motorbike where we the vision is far greater, we need to rely on too many things at a time when we are in a car, thus you need to actively concentrate on every detail, the moment you step foot in your car to the moment you step out of it.

Despite paying millions of Nairas for a car, many people seem to lose their appreciation for that relatively quickly. For example, the number of scratches and dents on the bodyworks increase exponentially over time, and also the number of times they neglect the surroundings and walk out without looking both ways. Today, Naijauto will address some of the common problems with drivers in Nigeria and more importantly, how to deal with them.

1. Mindlessly step out of the car without looking both ways

You'd be surprised how frequent people make this mistake. In many cases, they hurriedly step out of the car and injure an unlucky pedestrian, or worst, a motorist. As a rule of thumb, always open the door at the side facing the pavement or the side without any traffic. If you couldn't do that, make sure that there's someone already out on that side and assist you, or looking carefully at the side mirror beforehand. 

2. Misuse the signal lights

In case you forget, most of us don't have lightning-fast reactions, so please do yourself a favor and turn on the signal light at least 50 meters before you actually make the turn, for the drivers behind you would notice and change the direction in time. Also, prevention is always better than cure, always test the signal lights before you'd drive anywhere.

cars-with-signal-lights-in-nigeria

Nigerians not only misuse but also overuse the signal lights

>>> Do you know you can use hands to signal? How to use driving hand signals properly

3. Improperly overtake other vehicles

When you plan to pass other vehicles(s), there is something you should consider before actually doing the thing. First, does your car have a decent acceleration? How long does it take your car to accelerate from 60 to 80 kmh, or 100kmh? Can you outdistance the other car in less than 5 seconds? Take into account those details before attempting to overtake others.

Furthermore, when you are done passing, make sure that you maintain a safe distance with the car you just overtake (50m or preferably 100m if you are on the highway) so that the risk of traffic collision would be minimized.

lagos-traffic

Please drive carefully and responsibly to avoid road arguments

>>> Check more driving tips on Naijauto: 11 cool driving tips for smooth driving experience

4. Ditch the side mirrors completely

Unlike in a motor where you can freely turn to either side and look around without much trouble, you can only do the same thing with the side mirrors on a car. In a way, they are like your second pairs of eyes. Cars have many blind spots that are impossible to see without the side mirrors, so never forget them.

5. Neglect the seatbelt

Many of us put on the seatbelt only to please the law enforcement. Little do we know that the law actually helps us since the seatbelt could prevent, and has prevented many accidents, most notably neck injuries, amongst others. So next time remember to put on your seatbelt the moment you get into your car.

>>> For more tips and advice, visit our Safe Driving Tips to know further!

Jane Osuagwu is an automotive writer at Naijauto.com.She's a car enthusiast who loves creating educative and informative topics on cars, ranging from maintenance tips to updates on the latest trend in the auto industry in mechanically yet friendly writing. 

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